Hardware that spies on us
20th February, 2015 —
Like last week, we’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting articles and sites we’ve seen over the last seven days.
On hardware security
Hacked hardware could cause the next big security breach
“Microchips govern our homes, cities, infrastructure, and military. What happens when they’re turned against us?” “Microchips are the bedrock upon which our digital world is based, and they are almost entirely unsecured.” By P. W. Singer on Popular Science
Lenovo caught installing adware on new computers
“The adware, named Superfish, is reportedly installed on a number of Lenovo’s consumer laptops out of the box. The software injects third-party ads on Google searches and websites without the user’s permission.” By Owen Williams on The Next Web
Mass surveillance warning after European terror attacks
“Human rights watchdog says counter-terrorism proposals such as encryption ban suggest ‘little has been learned from Snowden affair’” by Alan Travis in The Guardian
Preventing dissent — How Britain’s new police state will radicalise us all
“The lack of any clear definition of ‘extremism’, and an understandable desire not to fall foul of legal obligations, are likely to mean workers erring on the side of caution and submitting reports on any adult or child expressing views not only that the worker himself considers ‘extreme’, but also that he considers anyone else might consider ‘extreme’ too. This could therefore conceivably include almost any expression of opinion not considered mainstream — and not only in relation to Islam, but to discussion of almost any aspect of political or religious discourse.” — Charles Shoebridge, a former British counter-terrorism intelligence officer in this in-depth article by Nafeez Ahmed
Government surveillance through hardware
Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program
“The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.” By Joseph Menn on Reuters
The FBI Admits It Uses Fake Cell Phone Towers to Track You
“The devices wrap up innocent people, which looks like a dragnet search that’s not legal under the Fourth Amendment,” Nate Wessler, a staff attorney for the ACLU, recently told me. “Even if they’re tracking a specific suspect, they’re getting info about every bystander. That's a concern.” By Jason Koebler on Motherboard
Google warns of US government ‘hacking any facility’ in the world
“Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress.” By Ed Pilkington on The Guardian (The irony of Google raising these issues isn’t lost on us.)
The Great SIM Heist — How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
“The U.S. and British intelligence agencies pulled off the encryption key heist in great stealth, giving them the ability to intercept and decrypt communications without alerting the wireless network provider, the foreign government or the individual user that they have been targeted.” By Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley on The Intercept
Government surveillance through corporate surveillance
Did GCHQ illegally spy on you?
Thousands Join Legal Fight Against UK Surveillance — And You Can, Too
Details about the unprecedented legal campaign against the United Kingdom’s leading electronic surveillance agency. By Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept
Did GCHQ illegally spy on you?
Because of Privacy International’s recent victory against the UK intelligence agency in court, now anyone in the world can find out if GCHQ illegally received information about you from the NSA. Enter your details and sign the petition to join the case.